Finally: The men who live as dogs

I was going to post the new Pew poll indicating that, for the first time in modern American history, a plurality of adults aged 34 and younger are living with their parents. But that’s not depressing enough for a palate cleanser.

What we need is something that’ll make you give up on civilization entirely.

In the documentary, we see Tom, AKA Spot, take part in the Mr Puppy Europe competition in Antwerp, a mix of beauty pageant, talent show and Crufts; David, AKA Bootbrush, talk to camera in a leather dog mask; two pups walk through London pretending to wee on lampposts to raise awareness of their identity; and lots of men jumping up for “treats”, barking and wagging their mechanical tails…

Are the sort of men drawn to puppy play simply exploring their intuitive self? “Absolutely,” says David. “Puppy play is exactly that – play. There is an immense amount of pleasure from gambolling around in a club playing with squeaky toys because you’re making people laugh, you’re being a cute little puppy. The gay scene can be very serious, scary and offputting. But if you’re going in with a little puppy hood, ears and a tongue, you look cute. You’re allowed to bound around and be enthusiastic, mischievous and friendly.”…

What is the attraction, for pups and their handlers? “You are trying to grasp the positive elements of the archetype of the dog; the loyal companion,” says David. “Some pups are solo, of course, but for me the puppy identity is focused on the bond between me and Sidney, my handler. I’ve been collared to him for 10 years. If anyone comes near him I growl like a little bull terrier. And I’m a people-pleaser in my human life. I get a great deal of pleasure from making other people happy.”

It’s not (always) about sex, another “pup” insists, it’s about spending “a lot of time together at home just being dogs.” Just as some adults find relaxation in the simple childhood pleasure of coloring in a coloring book, others find it in drooling on themselves and eating food off the floor. An inevitable quote: “It feels like you can be gay, straight, bisexual, trans and be accepted… All I want is for the pup community to be accepted in the same way.” When President Clinton orders public schools to install fire hydrants in all bathrooms, only then will true equality be achieved.

The documentary is British, about British “pups”; I’m sure it’s a thing in America too but I’d rather not Google to find out. I’ll throw this out at you, though. As Ron Burgundy once said, if you like it, you can take it. If you don’t, send it right back.


With masculinity in crisis, could the solution be as simple as, er, puppy power? The most prominent alternative paradigm right now is probably ISIS. For a generation of young men stuck at home living in mom’s basement, it may eventually be a choice between jihadism and dressing up like a Chihuahua and pissing on things in public. Choose wisely, my friends.

Here’s a promo for the film from a British morning show featuring one of the stars. He’s got the best costume of anyone pictured in the Guardian article linked above, which I guess makes him the figurehead for the, um, “movement.”